Under Eights Week highlights strong community connections

Under Eights Week highlights strong community connections as schools and services came together to celebrate play.

  • 23 May 2023

Catholic Early EdCare services joined with Brisbane Catholic Education (BCE) schools during Under Eights Week (15-21 May) to celebrate play through a host of events and activities.

At Christ the King School in Graceville, Bishop Ken Howell joined Principal Damien Sullivan and Centacare Executive Director Peter Selwood to play alongside kindergarten children from Julia Cumming Community Child Care Centre and their Year 5 buddies.

Catholic Early EdCare Program and Practice Manager Kirsten Holland said that in the first five years of life, children learn best about their world through engaging in play-based experiences and building strong responsive relationships with others.

“Through our close relationships with BCE schools, children build confidence in different settings and a sense of belonging as part of something bigger,” she said.

“As part of our transition to school programs, the kindergarten children really enjoy their regular visits to our co-located schools and getting involved in community activities including sports carnivals, book week celebrations and liturgies.”

Christ the King School Principal Damien Sullivan said it was important that incoming Prep students felt comfortable in the school environment.

“If the children feel safe and happy, this increases their confidence and helps with a smooth transition, which means on their first day they can let go of all worries and are ready to be learners,” he said.

“It’s a great way our future students can get to know our campus, connect, and make friends with our current students, which we find makes their transition to Prep a lot less daunting.”

Star of the Sea Kindergarten + Outside School Hours Care at Merrimac also enjoys a close relationship with the co-located Star of the Sea School.

From Term 2 the school welcomes future students onto campus on a weekly basis to participate in library, music, and playground activities giving children an opportunity to get to know their surroundings and recognise familiar faces.

Star of the Sea School Principal Tony Barron also runs a four-week Pre-Prep program called ‘Little Stars,’ which helps future students establish relationships and engage with their future school communities before official orientation begins in November.

“We find this proactive approach helps them settle in, be more confident, and familiar with their new surroundings, peers, and staff members,” he said. “Because they’ve had a chance to play and get to know our school community, they realise school is fun, meaning they’re enthusiastic about their first day.”

Kindergarten children from Good Samaritan Kindergarten + Outside School Hours Care are actively involved in the Good Samaritan Catholic College community. Each year the children attend assemblies, borrow books from the school library, participate in College celebrations such as Book Week, Mother’s Day, cross country, and athletics carnivals.

Bli Bli Principal Greg Myers said the approach fosters a sense of belonging and allows for a smoother transition to school.

“Having close connections with our local kindergartens allows our teachers to observe students in advance of their first day, meaning we can tailor support to our future students before they start school.”

Kindergarten is an important time in every child’s life. At Catholic Early EdCare, our teachers will nurture your child’s love of learning and ensure they develop the skills for a successful transition to prep. Find your nearest kindergartenhere or talk to our friendly team.